Alopekis – Courageous Tiny Dog With A Huge Heart

Alopekis – Courageous Tiny Dog With A Huge Heart

Alopekis dog (Cynalopex, Moropa, Alepouditsa, Venetaki, Bobis, Zacharoskylo, Bouboudi, Alepoudista) is a small, foxlike Greece breed from the Serres region. The traditional use of these lovely creatures is in small vermin extermination and poultry protection.

Even though it has been on the verge of extinction since the end of the 20th century, small populations still survive in Northern Greece. Luckily, experts tend to identify remaining and save this affectionate, devoted, courageous, and reliable working dog type capable of adapting to any possible environment.

Everything You Need To Know About The Alopekis:

1. History

Alopekis was one of the oldest European dog breeds widespread throughout Greece. People bred them to exterminate small vermin, protect domestic poultry from foxes, and control aggressive bulls during training and bull-leaping games.

Old Times

The breed’s ancestors were primitive Greek dogs that appeared around 3000 BC, during the proto-Hellenic era. In those times, they existed as a stray street population, but it is known that Pelasgoi people kept these small foxlike dogs, as well. Archaeologists found them as parts of ancient Greek sculptures.

For a long, Small Greek Domestic Dogs (Kokoni) and Alopekises were considered a different type of the same breed. That was changed later, and you can even find provisional standards that described both breeds.

Alopekis history

Some people believed that this dog breed is the offspring of foxes and dogs. The result was their name that came from the Greek word for these two animal species. It seems that there were four Alopekis’ types in ancient times. One of them was a hairless variety, sometimes wrongly referred to as the Turkish Naked Dog. It was extinct because of climate changes.

The only way to survive was a human intervention, but no one bothered about them because ancient Greeks considered these dogs too ugly. The second, wiry type was pretty rare, so only two others were deemed to exist.

Modern Times

Before the mass foreign breeds importation in the 70s and 80s, you could find only a few breeds in Greece on the pet breeds list, mostly Melieo Kynidio (Kokoni) and Alopekis. Nowadays, lack of breed registry, crossbreeding with imported dogs, and accelerated urbanization affected their numbers. Prof. Spyros Chleiounakis has researched Alopekis since 2005 and demanded urgent conservation of surviving dogs in Greece.

Amaltheia volunteers and the Kennel Club of Greece work together to increase their number and save this authentic breed from extinction. Only then will it be possible for them and other international clubs to recognize Alopekis officially.

2. Personality

The Greek phrase ‘polla en micro,’ meaning ‘many features in a tiny package,’ is a suitable description for this unique dog breed. Alopekis is an adaptable working dog, and you can keep it whether you live in an apartment in the city or have a house in a rural area. It will feel excellently everywhere. This loyal, alert, and courageous creature is a friendly and loving pet, so that you will enjoy its company without any fear of shown aggression.

Alopekis closeup

Thanks to an easy-going personality, this faithful companion is an excellent choice for experienced and first-time owners and a highly desired family pet. Since it is full of energy, your attentive, lively, and happy furry friend will tend to eager to please you and the people it loves.

3. Temperament

With adequate socialization, Alopekis will get along with children and other pets. When it grows up with cats, they will probably become best friends. Since it is patient and tolerant, you won’t have any problem with this tiny cute doggy, even if you have a toddler.

Alopekis temperament

On the other hand, you should be careful when it comes to new people. If you teach your buddy to be kind with strangers, it will behave that way, but you can expect your watchdog always to be wary and protective. The only thing you should take care of is to prevent Small Dog Syndrome. Never let your confident dog believes that it is a pack leader. The alpha male needs to be you!

Unfortunately, Alopekis can become neurotic and destructive without enough activity, and it can become hard to live with it in such conditions. Sometimes it can suffer from separation anxiety, so you shouldn’t think about this breed if you are often absent from home.

4. Size And Look

The average Greek dog Alopekis is approximately 9 to 13 inches (43 – 48 cm) high and weighs about 6.5 to 18 pounds (13.5 – 38.5 kg), depending on its gender and hereditary traits. Experts tolerate 0.8 inches (2 cm) above the required size for dogs of excellent type.

Height10 to 13 inches (25.5 – 33 cm)9 to 12 inches (23 – 30.5 cm)
Weight8 to 18 pounds (3.6 – 8 kg)6.5 to 15.5 pounds (2.9 – 7 kg)

Alopekis has a two-layered, quality coat that can be:

  • Medium harsh
  • Medium wiry
  • Short, flat, and hard

The wirehaired dog type is rare. The outer layer in all types is usually hard with a soft and dense undercoat. The coat is always thicker and longer at the neck and forms a brush under the tail.

Alopekis size and look

Alopekis is never albino, but you can find this dog with the coat in the wide color pallet, including:

  • White
  • Off-white
  • Cream
  • Golden
  • Light fawn
  • Fawn
  • Blue
  • Black and white
  • Patches of black
  • Brown
  • White and brown
  • Tan and brown
  • Black
  • Parti-color
  • Brindle

5. Grooming

One of the Alopekis advantages is that this moderate shedder is pretty clean and usually doesn’t require special care. Grooming once a week to remove dirt and dead hair will be enough in most cases.

Avoid bathing your buddy too often to prevent its coat from becoming dry and skin from being irritated and itchy. Regularly check its ears for signs of infection and trim its nails when necessary, especially if you keep your dog inside.

6. Exercising

Alopekis is an athletic, lively, and highly active dog that requires long daily walks, enough playing, and workouts. It will be excellent if you have a large backyard to let your furry friend play whenever and as much as it wants. Keep it busy, and you will get a satisfied and lovely companion. Otherwise, you should go walking and jogging with your dog for at least an hour a day to prevent boredom and consequent frustration.

Alopekis exercising

7. Training

Since this breed is obedient, adaptable, and intelligent, you won’t have any problem training your dog. It can be a bit uninterested in repeating commands, but your persistence will pay off in time. Let your pet know that you are the pack leader and be consistent with setting rules. Start with learning as soon as you adopt an Alopekis puppy, use positive techniques, and try to stick to a regular daily schedule.

8. Diet And Nutrition

These Greek dogs don’t require too specific food, but you should provide an appropriate combination of proteins and fats for your active pet. It will appreciate animal proteins from venison, turkey, chicken, and fish. It will be enough to give an adult 0.5 to 1 cup of food twice a day to meet its nutrient needs, depending on age, gender, size, and activity level. High-energy Alopekis puppies need about 0.3 cups of high-quality food three times a day.

9. Possible Health Problems

General Predisposition

These dogs won’t have any usual canine problems or breed-specific health issues.

Genetic Predispositions

Believe it or not, Alopekis have none of the common hereditary issues other dog breeds suffer from. The secret is in interbreeding-free breeding. Its gene pool is healthy, but pesticides, crossbreeding, and urbanization negatively affect their health and even existence.

On the other hand, females have only one small litter a year, with only 3 to 5 puppies and high puppy mortality. Despite an endangered species status, people regularly neuter males as part of a stray control sterilization program.

This long-lived ancient Greek dog breed’s average lifespan is approximately 14 to 16 years, but some of them can live even 18 years.

10. Alopekis Puppy Costs

On average, an Alopekis puppy costs approximately $500, but it will depend on a breeder. Top breeders will always provide puppies at a higher price because of the diet and living conditions they offer. You can also find this dog in rescues and shelters, but it is not a typical case.

Once you bring the new pet to your home, you will need to buy a carrier, crate, collar, leash, and adequate food for puppies. Even though breeders test parents to possible health issues, it is always advisable to take the new family member to a vet for examination and blood testing.

Additionally, you should think about deworming, flea and tick prevention, microchipping, vaccinations, and spaying or neutering when the time comes. In the end, it is wise to think about pet insurance.


Even though this Greek dog breed is a healthy, long-lived, and dedicated pet, it faces hard times these days because of human activity. It is an excellent hunting dog, devoted family dog, and loyal companion even for first-time owners. If you want an easily trainable buddy without usual health issues that don’t drool or require any specific care, Alopekis is the right solution for you.